Review: Palm Pre Is Hot And The Buzz Is Loud – What Does It Mean For The Apple IPhone?

(Last Updated: 04/29/2009 5:00PM EDT)

There is a lot of buzz around the new Palm Pre. We’re going to give you a blow by blow review of the Palm Pre vs. Apple IPhone and you won’t believe some of the results…

Without further delay, the video review begins….
The Interface – Pre vs. IPhone – Winner: Palm Pre
After having used the IPhone and marvelled at the innovation Apple introduced with this very natural and fun to use gestures interface, I didn’t think it could get any better – but it really could.  Compared to the weak attempt by RIM and what many would say failure of the Storm 9530. On the Pre, the learning curve is a bit steeper but Palm has taken this to a new level.  Unlike Windows Mobile, the IPhone OS does not really allow for multitasking.  If you haven’t experienced this before, it’s the one rigid experience IPhone lovers have lamented over.  The idea is that when you do something on the IPhone, you are in a “mode”, and until you complete that activity you cannot do anything else.  On the Palm Pre, you can send out an SMS, receive a GTalk reply, respond using your AIM chat, and get a SMS in return. And it is all been treated as a single conversation, in a single view, and in a single interface. Sweet.

See this video Video 1 – Apple Pre Interface to judge for yourself

Applications & Usability – Pre vs. IPhone – Winner: Apple IPhone
Palm has made many improvements in usability that some might prefer compared to the IPhone.  More thought has been given it seems, to how alerts and notifications are displayed – and unlike the IPhone, most will not “lock” your screen and force you to attend to them.  On the Pre, you can continue doing whatever you were doing in just about all cases.  This makes for a much smoother experience.  But apart from the “crisper” interface, if you consider the integration with iTunes and the App Store, the IPhone still easily gets my nod here.  The Amazon Music Store, though functional, just isn’t the same experience.

Web Browsing – Pre vs. IPhone – Winner: Palm Pre (with a caveat)

We all love the Safari browser – in the mobile world, there is no substitute – perhaps until now.  The browser on the Palm Pre is based on Webkit and perhaps one of the single most impressive features of Palm’s new foray into the hot mobile market is how fast it is.  In fact, it appears to be almost 4x faster than the IPhone experience on heavy SOA and Javascript intensive sites.  The one big problem – no flash support it appears at this point.  On that feature alone, it might swing you towards the IPhone…but I’m taking the Palm Pre here.  The speed was just phenomenal, and I can’t help but think th
at we’ll see an update from Palm to address this pretty quickly.  Check it out here.

See this video Palm Pre Browsing Experience to judge for yourself.

Conclusion – Winner: Apple IPhone (for now)
03/28/2009 8:10PM – In response to some of the comments, I clearly need to further qualify my selection of the Apple IPhone.  I have received criticism that questions how I can select the IPhone as a winner when the Palm Pre had such a strong review in key areas, per my review – and also indicating that with the Palm Pre not yet “on the street”, that I am not giving it a fair shake.  It is precisely due to that reason, that I cannot announce the IPhone unseated. Quite simply, IF the Palm Pre addresses the lack of Flash, and IF the applications and development community for the Palm Pre prove to be even half as viral and rich as those on the IPhone and IF it is able to capture a relevant market share to sway developers and vendors to divert limited investment dollars to this platform and IF Apple is unable to respond and leapfrog ahead again, whether with the upcoming OS or an update to the hardware platform to retain its stranglehold on the market… I will reconsider.
But that’s a lot of IF’s folks, and until then, the IPhone Rocks.

As a disappointed BlackBerry Storm experience with the office device, and in the market for a personal device to “lift the spirits”, the Palm Pre for me, as with many, will provide pause in what was up to now, really a one horse show.  Looking ahead, I think this competition is great news for IPhone lovers – I am excited with what I am seeing and reading about the Apple IPhone OS 3.0 Hold on folks, this should be interesting…who knows, maybe RIM may surprise us soon….rumours swirl about a new TV Service RIM may be about to launch….enjoy the ride!! I’m loving every minute of it…

Update: 03/28/2009 10:00PM – Bonnie Cha over at CNET just posted a  Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3Garticle and talks about the upcoming CTIA and the 2009 spring show.  All the players (including Palm) will be at the show that takes place April 1-2 in Las Vegas.  You can be sure I’ll be covering this event closely and following up with what will be unveiled, discussed and (dare I say) launched….From the Keynotes info posted up,  they’ve certainly got some heavyweights recruited – Al Gore is a special Keynote Speaker on the 3rd. Wish I was closer….but if you are, you might want to register for this one! Wonder if Apple will release something here…I’m following the news feeds closely now, so as soon as I hear something, I will pass it on to you.  You can follow yourself using Google News — here is my watch link for a new Apple IPhone.

Update: 03/28/2009 11:50PM  As we get closer to CTIA the buzz on the Palm Pre is just growing.  Here’s a great article from NetworkWorld that talks about the pressure on Sprint with this release, as well as another head to head comparison between the IPhone and Pre – sure to be many more of these folks!

Update: 03/31/2009 7:25PMJust came across this video walkthrough of the Palm Pre.

Update: 04/03/2009 6:08AMSee my breaking news storyon the Palm Pre at CTIA 2009

Update: 04/08/20091:53AM  Apple unleashes “there’s an app for that” commericals!

Update: 04/08/2009 10:08PM  Palm Pre Early Access Program Info – Sign Up For the SDK Here

Update: 04/10/2009 9:29PM  Palm Pre Information Library courtesy of Engadget

Update: 04/11/2009 11:39AM Rumour has it that Sprint employees are training on the Palm Pre

Update: 04/27/2009 10:56PM  Why Developers Think the Palm Pre Could Upstage the iPhone

Update: 04/28/2009 8:10PM   Palm Pre Rumour Of The Day: June 7 Release Date

Update: 04/29/2009 5:00PM   Palm Pre Release Date To Be Announced Soon
Liked this post? Browse through all my posts here. Thanks…Pedro

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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